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HEALTH SYMPTOMS TO WATCH OUT FOR... INSIDE iTAKE THE ADVANTAGE: Get checked for prostrate cancer p22 iALWAYS A MAN: Tips on how to stay virile p22

MAY 30 - JUNE 5, 2013

HEALTH Writer: Hazelann Williams Design: Thierry Lagrin

The Voice supplement ipage 21/22/27/28

22 | THE VOICE MAY 30 - JUNE 5, 2013


Take the advantage By Hazelann Williams


EING A man in 2013 has many advantages when compared to being a woman. In areas such as wealth and political power men excel and are often more likely to earn higher wages and reach positions of power years before their female counterpart. But one area in which the male species are at a disadvantage is their personal health. Recent studies have shown that men are taking the old fashioned moniker of being the stronger sex a little too seriously and as a result their health is paying the price. In a survey carried out by the Everyman Male Cancer Campaign men were found twice as likely to not visit their GP, even if they were in pain. And as a result men are more likely to end up in hospital for longer periods of time because they neglect the warning signs and refuse to visit a doctor. Men are also more likely to die prematurely (before the age of 75), in fact for every 66,000 women who die at an early age there are 100,000

We urge men to go to the doctors and get checked for prostate cancer men dying, according to figures from the charity Men’s Health Forum. There are many aliments that affect black men in the UK disproportionately, diabetes, stoke - the risk is almost two thirds higher than the general population and prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK. Around 41,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year - that’s more than 112 every day and black men have a higher risk of prostate cancer than any other race. The prostate, found only in men, is located below the bladder. It produces some of the fluid in semen and is crucial to a man’s sex life. Like breast cancer prostate is thought to be linked to two genes, BRCA1 and BRAC2,

however, only five to 10 percent of all cases is thought to be strongly linked to an inherited risk. There is no national screening programme for prostate cancer in the UK and it is still not clear as to why African Caribbean men are three times more likely to develop the disease, but doctors do know that a healthy diet and lifestyle is important in protecting yourself against the cancer. Eat well: Reducing your intake of animal fat and eating more fruit and vegetables may lower the risk of prostate cancer developing or spreading. Get tested: If there’s a problem in the prostate, the levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in the blood can go up. The PSA test doesn’t test specifically for cancer but can show if there’s a problem with the prostate gland. There is

also a digital rectal examination (DRE), a quick and simple test done by your GP to check for any enlarged or hard areas on the gland that may be a sign of cancer.

FATHER’S DAY is around the corner, a time when we celebrate the wonderful men in our lives and thank them for everything they have done. Being a dad is not easy, it is a lot of hard work but as many fathers will tell you, the rewards are priceless. However, health is paramount to ensuring most men are able to become a father, so whether you are trying for your first child or increasing your family, we have complied a few tips on how to stay virile.


KEEP IT BREEZY Fashion for men can be life or death, especially when it comes to the type of clothes they wear. The recent trend of men wearing skinny jeans has had doctors worrying about the effects the tight fitting garment may have on the fertility of the younger generation. Many believe that tight clothes not only restrict the movement of certain body parts, it also overheats the testicles, when they remain too close to the body. A study by the University of Milan found that men wearing tight briefs were nearly twice as likely to be infertile as men who wore looser styles of underpants.


Always a man By Hazelann Williams


As father’s day approaches we explore a few ways to keep you virile

Rising temperatures can also lead to a reduced rate of sperm production, which is why in the battle of boxers VS briefs, boxer shorts win, because they keep the testicles cool and allow them the space they need. DON’T TRY TO LOOK COOL Smoking was once seen as a cool form of self-expression, even today many people, who usually don’t smoke at home admit to smoking socially when out with friends or at work. The danger is that smoking harms your general and long term health and has an adverse affect on fertility for both men and women. Research has found that smoking damages the sperm membrane, making it ‘lazy’ and affecting its ability to reach an egg. Smoking can cause the blood vessels to narrow, making it difficult for blood to be delivered to genitals, triggering impotence and can also alter sperm DNA that can cause birth defects in babies. KEEP FIT Being overweight or obese reduces both male and female fertility. Working out and losing weight can also boost your energy and increase testosterone levels, the male sex hormone that is involved in making sperm.



MAY 30 - JUNE 5, 2013 THE VOICE | 27

‘The Male Menopause’ Male Midlife Crisis – This is Not A Joke Contributed


ome men develop depression, loss of sex drive, impotence and other physical and emotional symptoms when they reach their late 40s to early 50s.

Other symptoms fairly common in men this age are: s (OT mUSHES s -OOD SWINGS s ,OSS OF MUSCLE MASS AND fat redistribution s 4IREDNESS s $RY AND THIN SKIN s )NCREASED SWEATING s 0OOR CONCENTRATION AND irritability s ,OSS OF ENTHUSIASM These symptoms can interfere with everyday life and happiness, so it’s important to try to work out the un-

The male midlife crisis is something people joke about, but it can be distressing for those going through it. derlying cause, and what can be done to resolve these problems. Is there such a thing as a ‘male menopause’? The ‘male menopause’ (sometimes called the ‘andropause’) is an unhelpful term used by the mainstream media to explain the symptoms just mentioned. This label is confusing because it suggests that the symptoms are the result of a natural drop in the hormone testosterone in middle age, similar to the female

menopause. This is not true. Although testosterone levels fall as men age, the decline is steady – about 1–2 percent a year from around the age of 40. Testosterone deficiency can sometimes be responsible for symptoms when the testes are not functioning properly, but in many cases the symptoms are nothing to do with hormones. Personal or lifestyle issues Lifestyle factors or psychological problems can often

be responsible for many of the symptoms already described. For example, impotence, loss of libido and mood swings are often the result of stress, depression or anxiety. These psychological problems are typically brought on by work or relationship issues, divorce, money problems or ageing parents. Drinking too much alcohol and losing sleep only makes these problems worse. A ‘midlife crisis’ can sometimes be responsible. This

can happen when men think they’ve reached life’s halfway stage. Anxieties over what they’ve accomplished so far, either in their job or personal life, can cause a period of depression. In men, this usually happens between the ages of 35 and 50 and can last for up to 10 years. Poor diet, lack of exercise and smoking can also contribute to symptoms. Hypogonadism and diabetes When lifestyle or psycho-

logical problems do not seem to be responsible, there may be an underlying medical cause. Many men with type 2 diabetes will have a condition known as hypogonadism, where the testes produce few or no hormones. Hypogonadism is diagnosed when there are: s SYMPTOMS SUCH AS LOSS of libido, loss of morning erection, impotence, weight gain around the Continues on page 28ii

28 | THE VOICE MAY 30 - JUNE 5, 2013

HEALTHMATTERS iiFrom page 27 middle, decrease in muscle mass, fatigue, hot flushes, decreased motivation and self-confidence, and s EVIDENCE OF LOW MORNing testosterone levels. The testosterone deficiency experienced in hypogonadism is abnormal and often has an identifiable cause, such as Klinefelter’s syndrome (a rare genetic condition where a man is born with an extra female chromosome). In other words, it is not just a normal age-related change. What to do If you are experiencing any

of the above symptoms, see your GP. They will ask about your work and personal life, to see if your symptoms may be caused by a mental health issue such as stress or anxiety. If stress or anxiety are affecting you, you may benefit from medication or a taking therapy such as cognitive behavioural therapy. Exercise and relaxation can also help.

If the specialist confirms this diagnosis, you will be offered testosterone treatment to correct the hormone deficiency, which should relieve your symptoms.

Your GP may also order a blood test to measure your levels of testosterone. If the results suggest that you have hypogonadism, you may be referred to an endocrinologist (specialist in hormone problems).


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ith 23 years’ experience as a counsellor, Social Worker, Trainer and Beauty Consultant, OHWC allows me to bring together my knowledge, skills and experience in helping people resolve personal and relationship issues, and other challenges like bereavement, stress, anxiety, depression, and lots more. As well as counselling and consultancy, OHWC runs wellness retreats and pampering sessions where people can relax, experience rejuvenation and restoration. We also run topical training and development opportunities in health and wellbeing. People are facing tremendous stress points in their daily lives, in the workplace especially and we want to help improve people’s lifestyles by supporting wellness from the inside out. Our straw poll shows that people know they want help but are reluctant to take it for a number of reasons; cost, stigma of taking counselling and time are key barriers. My experience is that people often come for help when they feel situations are now helpless. We want to create an environment where hope, belief and mental stability can thrive; the ingredients in my opinion, for good health and wellbeing. This month we are keen to learn how we can influence men to prioritise their sense of ‘wellness from the inside out’. We know women like their men to look good, but do they feel good? We therefore challenge fathers and sons to answer 3 questions, and win a free gift, just in time for Father’s Day. [Go to my website:] or email with your answers.

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Health Matters Mens Health Edition May 2013  
Health Matters Mens Health Edition May 2013  

This month we urge men to go to the doctors and get checked for prostrate cancer. We also give men tips on how to stay virile. Finally we...